GFM Network News


Report links business management, mental health of farmers

Farm women, young farmers report higher levels of stress, difficulties coping

Ottawa — A new report from Farm Management Canada (FMC) calls for action after determining 75 per cent of Canadian farmers reported being moderately to highly stressed about unpredictable interference, workload pressure and financial pressures. But how a farmer plans his or her business — and associated risks — can help lower that statistic. The […] Read more



Reach out if you need help

Farm Credit Canada has developed public service messages to encourage the conversation on mental health in agriculture. The PSAs, bearing the tag Rooted in Strength, encourage producers to “make sure your well-being is a priority” and to check out resources available at domore.ag, the website of the Do More Ag Foundation, a mental health advocacy […] Read more

It breaks your heart — and sends your stress levels soaring: Irmi and Barry Critcher in a canola field this summer and in the same field earlier this month.

The long wait: Delayed harvest wears you down

The stress isn’t just in the mind — and talking things out will lessen those physiological drivers

Fatigue when working long hours is a serious safety concern on farms — but another kind of exhaustion often sets in when farmers want to be out in the field, but are hampered by poor weather. “Even though we aren’t actually combining and it’s not physically taxing, the fatigue can still be there,” said Hannah […] Read more


For farmer Sean Stanford, talking about his mental health struggles has been hard — but a necessary step toward healing.

Ag industry urged to ‘do more’ about mental health issues

New organization aims to destigmatize mental illness in the agriculture industry by getting people to talk more, ask more, and listen more

Sean Stanford thought he was going to die. It happened one week last winter, and started with a pain in his chest. A heart attack, he figured. A trip to the emergency room turned up nothing. There was nothing wrong with him. And then the pain started again, worse this time. Another trip to the […] Read more

Stressors pile up for Manitoba soybeans

Damaged patches of soybeans around Manitoba this year could be due to a combination of stresses, says Manitoba Agriculture plant pathologist Holly Derksen. “It’s a tricky year for diagnosing these problems,” Derksen said Wednesday during the Crop Talk Westman webinar. “When multiple stressors are present often the soybean plants may respond differently. Not all plants, […] Read more


In times of hardship, take time to consider all of your riches

The love of your children, support of family and friends, 
and faith are priceless treasures to be cherished

I am admiring the picture on the cover of Alexander McCall Smith’s book The Full Cupboard of Life. His fictitious stories from Botswana are an easy and humorous read. The cupboard referred to is typical; containing four plates and four cups, two bowls, a couple of pots, a little cooking oil, and a teapot. That’s […] Read more

Believe it or not — urban men are in better health than farmers

Stress and constantly working take their toll, but there’s a free and proven program that helps farmers enjoy healthier, better lives


You take good care of your land, your equipment, and your animals. But do you take the same care with your own health? Farmers tend not to think of themselves as a ‘tool’ that needs regular maintenance, says the program manager of Sustainable Farm Families Alberta. Combines, for instance, go into the shop before every […] Read more


“A huge weight was lifted from our shoulders” when Rebecca Thistlethwaite and her husband decided to scale down their farm.

Running on empty? It’s time to set goals for your farm

Working 100 hours a week is ‘a recipe for burnout,’ says 
American farmer and author who found salvation in scaling back

It takes guts to be a farmer these days. “Farming is an extremely complex business to run, and it takes remarkable courage,” said author Rebecca Thistlethwaite, who farms in Oregon. “It demands an incredible well of passion, a willingness to learn, and ‘stick-to-it-tiveness’ to make it work.” But more and more, farmers are finding that […] Read more

Farmers wanted for landmark survey on stress

Online survey available until Jan. 18, 2016

A researcher with the Ontario Veterinary College is looking for additional participants for a survey on farmer stress. About 700 farmers have filled out the online Producer Stress and Resilience survey, but lead researcher Andria Jones-Bitton is hoping to get 1,000 responses. This study, the first of its kind in Canada, is intended to chart […] Read more